Suns’ Johnson Undergoes Hernia Surgery

From Staff and Wire Reports

Phoenix Sun guard Kevin Johnson underwent abdominal hernia surgery Friday night and will be sidelined up to two months.

Johnson, who has said that this, his 10th season, would be his last, was bothered by pain in his lower abdomen and groin last season and sat out 26 games.

Johnson is being counted on this season to tutor rookie point guard Steve Nash, the Suns’ first-round draft pick out of Santa Clara.

Phoenix acquired guard Sam Cassell as part of the Aug. 19 trade of Charles Barkley to the Houston Rockets and dealt fourth-year pro Elliott Perry to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.



Center John Salley, who earned his third NBA championship ring as a reserve with the Chicago Bulls last season, has signed a $2-million, one-year contract to to play in Greece with Panathinaikos. . . . The Sacramento Kings have withdrawn arbitration proceedings involving their top draft pick, Predrag Stojakovic of Serbia, who last week signed a two-year deal with PAOK of the Greek League.


Fred Funk shot a seven-under-par 65 to move into a five-way tie for the lead at the halfway point of the Buick Challenge at Pine Mountain, Ga.

Also tied for the lead at 10-under 134 after two rounds were Michael Bradley, John Maginnes, Davis Love III and Len Mattiace. First-round leader Bobby Wadkins dropped three back with a 73.

Jim Colbert, hoping for a late-season charge to repeat as senior tour money leader, shot a six-under 65 and took the first-round lead in the $1.5-million Vantage Championship at Clemmons, N.C.

Six golfers, including Don January, who shot his age--66--were one shot behind Colbert.

Defending champion Gail Graham shot her second consecutive five-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Fieldcrest Cannon Classic at Cornelius, N.C.


Dottie Pepper and Kim Saiki were one shot back at nine-under 135.

Defending champion Ellen Port of St. Louis, who is 3 1/2 months pregnant, won two matches to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage. . . . Rick Lewallen of Greensboro N.C., had two eagles in an eight-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the 29th PGA Club Professional Championship at La Quinta.


Defense lawyers at the tax-evasion trial of Steffi Graf’s father, Peter Graf, demanded a $10-million refund, saying much of the money at issue was not taxable.


Graf, 58, on trial in Mannheim, Germany, with former family tax advisor Joachim Eckardt, is charged with failing to declare $28 million of Steffi Graf’s income between 1989 and ’93, on which $13.1 million in taxes were due, according to authorities.


USC general counsel Bob Lane said he hopes the suspension of senior tailback Shawn Walters can be resolved by the middle of next week. Walters, suspended the equivalent of a full season by the NCAA over a charge he accepted money from an agent, was to have played last week against Houston. But the NCAA informed USC of a new charge against Walters, by an anonymous caller, and USC held him out of the Houston game.

A new bowl alliance beginning in 1998 hopes to complete financial details with ABC next week and then move ahead with lining up bowls and conferences.


The alliance will bring the six major conferences--Big 12, Big East, Atlantic Coast, Southeastern, Big Ten and Pacific 10--and Notre Dame together in a bowl package for the first time.

ABC and the bowl alliance reached a seven-year agreement in July that brought the Rose Bowl, Big Ten and Pac-10 into the alliance’s postseason package.

The NCAA granted Georgia an extension until Dec. 30 to respond to charges of 10 major rules violations involving the football program.

A 20-year-old man with Down syndrome who was barred from playing high school football because of his age has won the right to play. Colorado’s High School Activities Assn. Executive Committee voted, 11-0, to let Gabriel Lane of Greeley Central High play football and also take part in swimming.



Top-seeded Pete Sampras beat Sweden’s Mikael Tillstrom, 6-3, 6-4, in the quarterfinals of the Swiss Indoor tennis championships at Basel.

Four-time world champion Robert Duran hurt Mike Culbert with a barrage of punches and stopped him at 2:24 of the sixth round at Chester, W.Va.

Boxing would be subject to federal regulation for the first time under legislation the Senate passed and sent the president. The bill, passed by voice vote, would require state boxing commissions to recognize a fighter’s suspension by another state.


It was approved by the House on Wednesday. A main purpose of the measure is to put controls on journeymen boxers who travel from state to state for often mismatched fights staged mainly for gamblers.

Damon Hill, a point from winning his first Formula One driving championship, has joined the TWR Arrows team. Hill was looking for a new team for next season after being dropped by the Williams-Renault team in a salary dispute.

Ted Musgrave won the pole position for Sunday’s NASCAR race at North Wilkesboro, N.C., with a lap of 118.054 mph.

Joe Amato (top fuel), John Force (funny car) and Jim Yates (pro stock) led their categories after the first two rounds of qualifying in the NHRA Sears Craftsman Nationals at Topeka, Kan.